Gridshock: A Film About Sex Trafficking - AMP | Achieving Maximum Potential

Gridshock: A Film About Sex Trafficking

Gridshock: A Film about Sex Trafficking in Iowa

…yes, Iowa. Are you shocked?

Gridshock is a feature-length investigative documentary that exposes the sex trafficking industry in Iowa. It will explore the insidious network of sexual enslavement that is flourishing in our communities RIGHT NOW.

A common misconception is that sex trafficking starts with abduction; that assumption is dangerously false. Most victims are lured in by someone they know:

A family member who routinely “rents out” a five-year-old boy for a night then returns him to his unsuspecting caregiver.

A romantic partner who convinces a 16-year-old girl that she’ll do it “just this one time.”

An already indoctrinated victim who under threat of physical harm lures another teenager at the mall to “come over and hang out”; then hands her over to be gang raped, then threatened and manipulated to return again and again.

These are your nieces, your neighbor, that girl on the swim team, that boy who works at the local convenience store. This is happening every day, out on the grid, in our neighborhoods IN EVERY SINGLE IOWA COUNTY.

It’s easy to think it doesn’t happen here. Iowa is proud of its “Iowa nice” identity and throughout the state, people in both rural and urban areas seem to embody this virtue – from the two-finger wave to the neighborly corner-store chatter.

With its geometrically even 99 counties, Iowa appears from the sky to be a perfect grid – tidy and balanced. But all around us is a thinly veiled market trading in sexually enslaved human beings, mostly women and children. In two online clicks, you can purchase – for sex against their will – an infant, child, or adolescent; a woman or man; in any county in Iowa.

Gridshock, reminiscent of “gridlock” – “a traffic jam affecting a network of intersecting streets” – features law enforcement, medical professionals, social workers, and activists who share often futile efforts to interrupt the flow of sex trafficking in Iowa. The film will also expose real-life former traffickers who illuminate the dark networks that drive the trade.

Most important, Gridshock focuses on victims and survivors. The vulnerabilities that traffickers target. The emotional manipulation. The psychological warfare. The brutal everyday reality of sexual slavery. It’s a story of trauma and survival. It’s a cautionary tale. It’s a wake-up call.

Set to release Fall 2018, Gridshock is directed by a team of three award-winning filmmakers: directors Vanessa McNeal and Alex Schuman, and cinematographer Taylor Bluemel.

We have 60 days to raise $35,000 in order to start production.

The Impact of Gridshock

We can do nothing to stop sexual slavery until we create awareness and understanding. Many sex trafficking activities truly are “on the grid” – they occur out in the open, with little interference from passers by. People simply don’t recognize the signs. This film will enable audiences to identify suspicious behavior, and share information with neighbors and law enforcement. It will also empower parents and caretakers to recognize potential vulnerabilities in children and loved ones.

In short, audiences will be better prepared to “say something if they see something,” and to get involved with organizations that help children, women, and men escape sexual slavery.

Although this has not been announced yet, the premiere will for sure be April 2nd 2019 in Des Moines at the Civic Center. (It will happen in the evening). As more details roll in I will let you all know.

Vanessa McNeal MSW

National Speaker & Filmmaker 

For more information CLICK HERE

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